EDUCATION IN THE ROMAN EMPIRE 87 throne with the firm determination to re-establish paganism. In his youth he had been an earnest student of letters and of neo- Platonism, and his apostasy from a religion which was associated for him with the murder of most of his kinsfolk was credited to these studies. Consequently, his accession was with good reason welcomed by men like Libanius, the last great sophist, as promis- ing the triumph of both religion and culture. In the first instance, indeed, Julian was ostentatiously tolerant of all creeds and made no attempt to persecute the Christians. But he showed his antagonism to Christianity quite plainly in an edict he issued in 362, forbidding Christians to teach in the schools. " Did not Homer, and Hesiod, and Demosthenes, and Herodotus, and Thucydidcs, and Isocratcs, and Lysias look on the gods as the guides to all instruction ?" he asks in a letter relating to this decree.* "It is unreasonable, it seems to me, for those who interpret the works of these men to dishonour the gods who were honoured by them. If they believe in the wisdom of the men whom they interpret, and whose * prophets * they profess to be, let them first imitate their piety towards the gods. If, on the other hand, they feel that these men were in error in regard to the highest truth, let them go into the churches of the Galilaeans and interpret Matthew and Luke," In order to enforce his will in this matter he further decreed that all the appointments of teachers by the municipalities should bo subject to his approval. In doing so he established a precedent for the imperial control of education, which was followed by his Christian successors and probably employed by them against pagan teachers. (By a law of Theo- dosius and Valentinian in 425, it was made illegal to teach outside the schools sanctioned by the State,) With the death of Julian in the following yetir (363) the chances of a revival of pagan culture came to an end. Probably the issue would have been the same if he had lived. Hie indifference with which his schemes were greeted even by those who were not Christians showed that the old religions had lost their power as working creeds. An it was, events speedily reverted to their original course, and the decline of the schools which had begun before Julian became more marked as the century drew to a close* For this declension the progress of Christianity was to some extent responsible. Pagan schools in a Christian or semi-Christian State * Quoted Wttldm, Universities vf Anci&nt Greece, p, no.